Lone Star Park has announced an increase in overnight race purses for the 2018 Thoroughbred season which opens April 19. All overnight races will see an increase of $2,000 each in purse money. Some overnight race categories will see as much as a 25% gain in their purses. No race throughout the 44-day season will have less than $10,000 in purse money offered.
This is the most significant increase to Thoroughbred purses in a decade. Track officials cited handle gains in all three categories (on-track live, off-track and simulcasting) as the major source of funding for the purse increase. And with a few less race days this year the track was able to share the monies that would have been allocated to those races.
“We are proud to offer our horsemen the benefit of this increase,” said Bart Lang, Lone Star Park’s Director of Racing. “We offer the longest race meeting with the most race days and the best overnight purses in the state. Our goal this spring is to build on the gains in handle we saw last year during our Thoroughbred season.”
The stable area opens on Monday, March 19. The track will open for training on Wednesday, March 21. Official workouts will begin on Monday, March 26.
Lone Star Park’s 2018 Thoroughbred Season stakes schedule will offer 11 stakes totaling an estimated $1 million in total purse money.
Opening night on April 19 will feature the newly renamed $50,000 Bluebonnet Stakes, formerly run as the Premiere, for accredited Texas-bred horses.
Sunday, April 22 features the 22nd running of the $50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial Stakes for accredited Texas-bred fillies & mares.
The Grade 3, $200,000 Steve Sexton Mile headlines the card on Sunday, May 6 and for the first time Lone Star Park will offer advance wagering on the Steve Sexton Mile and the entire Sunday card on Saturday, May 5 (Kentucky Derby Day).
The divisional Texas Stallion Stakes are to be showcased on Sunday, May 20. The Got Koko Division for fillies and the Stymie Division for colts & geldings each have $65,000 guaranteed in prize money.
Sunday, May 27 features the 22nd running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap.
For the month of June, it’s the 7th edition of the $50,000 Lane’s End Danny Shifflet Scholarship Stakes for accredited Texas-bred fillies & mares. It will be contested on Saturday, June 23.
Stars of Texas Day, the encore stakes event of the season, celebrates Texas-bred Thoroughbreds with four stakes featured on Sunday, July 15. The Texas Thoroughbred Futurities including the 26th edition of the filly division and the 29th edition of the colt & gelding division, each have an estimated $100,000 purse attached. Also on the Stars of Texas Day card are the 21st running of the $50,000 Assault Stakes, and the 21st running of the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes for fillies & mares.
(from Lone Star Park news release)